Survey: Black youth most politically active

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement reports that Black youth are most likely of all racial/ethnic groups to vote regularly, belong to groups involved with politics, donate money to candidates or parties, display buttons or signs, canvass and contact the broadcast or print media. Their recent study also highlights how African American youth are most likely to raise money for a charity, tied with Asian American youth.

Melanie Campbell, executive director of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, said young Blacks were most active with New Orleans recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Overall the study says Black youth are the most politically engaged racial/ethnic group out there.

Asian American youth are right behind young Blacks, the study says. Whites are most likely to run, walk or ride a bike for charity and to be active members of a group. Whites are least likely to protest, donate money to a party or a candidate or persuade others about an election.

Latino youth have the highest levels of disengagement and are the least likely to volunteer, contact officials or engage in a boycott. However, 25 percent of young Latinos have protested, more than double the rate for any other group, due to the recent immigrant rights upsurge.

The Maryland-based organization compiled information from telephone and e-mail surveys done earlier in the year with 1,700 young people ages 15-25.

Nobel laureates urge youth to change the world

“Change the world” was the call by 10 Nobel peace prizewinners to more than 2,000 teens from 31 countries during “Peace Jam,” an event held for youth in Denver last month. The event was the largest gathering of Nobel peace prizewinners ever on U.S. soil.

The laureates included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Northern Ireland peace activist Mairead Corrigan Maguire, indigenous rights activist Rigoberta Menchu Tum and the Dalai Lama.

Many of the laureates criticized the U.S. and spoke about fighting racism, poverty and the arms trade while urging youth to create a better future through acts of service for human rights. Archbishop Tutu said the U.S. is one of the most incredibly generous nations. “How about exporting your generosity instead of your bombs?” he asked.

Jody Williams, an anti-land-mine activist and the only U.S. laureate, said, “Peace is not a rainbow; it is not about singing songs and reciting poetry. That is not peace. When you talk about a different world, a different kind of global security, you’re talking about hard work.” Peace Jam is a small educational foundation run by a Denver couple.

Migrant youth in China receive training

Over 30 million young rural migrants working in China’s urban districts have received training provided by communist youth leagues across the country, a recent report says. The central committee of the Communist Youth League of China said migrant youth have received instruction at more than 4,000 special schools over the past five years.

The program was launched in 2001, and covers areas like state policies and laws, culture, vocational skills and production safety.

Government statistics estimate China’s total migrant population to be 130 million. Internal migration grew sharply in the 1990s when China’s eastern coastal cities started to develop. Most migrant workers take jobs as construction workers, maids, waiters and vegetable hawkers in the cities.

Czech youth group outlawed

On Oct. 16 the Communist Youth Union (KSM) in the Czech Republic received official notice from the country’s Ministry of the Interior that it had been formally dissolved, i.e. made illegal.

The reason for the action? The ministry said it was because the KSM favors replacing private ownership of the country’s big enterprises with public, collective ownership of those enterprises — that is, socialism.

For several years the KSM has been an outspoken advocate of worker, union and youth and student rights. Along with the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, it has been a thorn in the side of the pro-capitalist Czech government. The authorities initially tried to ban the KSM by alleging it was inappropriately involved in elections. It then said the group should be outlawed because of its adherence to the views of Karl Marx, Frederick Engels and Vladimir Lenin. In the end, it zeroed in on the advocacy of public ownership as the KSM’s main “crime.”

The banning took place over the protests of other student and youth groups, civic associations and former antifascist fighters. Solidarity actions were held worldwide and were joined by prominent cultural figures like Bono of U2.

The KSM has vowed to continue its activities and said it will challenge the decision in court.

Compiled by Pepe Lozano (plozano@pww.org).

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